Tom Pope: Port Vale striker charged by FA over tweet
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 05/02/20 3:57pm
Port Vale striker Tom Pope has been charged with an 'aggravated breach' of Football Association rules following a social media post last month.
The charge relates to a post in which Pope, having been asked to "predict the WWIII result", wrote: "We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds (sic) are crowned champions of every bank on the planet."
Pope later deleted the tweet and insisted he was unaware it could be perceived as anti-semitic, but the post became the subject of both FA and club investigations.
An FA statement said: "Tom Pope has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on 5 January 2020.
"It is alleged that his social media activity breaches FA Rule E3(1) as it was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
"It is also alleged that his social media activity constitutes an "Aggravated Breach", which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin.
"The Port Vale forward has until 12 February 2020 to respond."
A statement from Port Vale said Pope would contest the charge.
"The Port Vale forward strongly denies allegations that his Twitter comments made 'a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin' and will vigorously defend the charge," the statement said.
Shortly after deleting the tweet, Pope issued a statement apologising for any offence caused.
"Following the reaction to my response on Twitter about the Rothschilds, I was unaware of any link between the Rothschild family and the Jewish community," he said.
"If I have caused offence to anyone, I'd like to apologise enormously as this was never my intention."
The 34-year-old has already served a one-game ban for "improper" comments posted on Twitter.
That ban, accompanied by a £1,500 fine, was handed down on January 22 but was related to a separate matter.